Tears flow for Vince Carter in Toronto

ESPN logo
Thursday, November 20, 2014

It was a moment that held the potential to outshine a showdown between the NBA's top teams, with the East-leading Toronto Raptors hosting the West-leading Memphis Grizzlies.

But the Raptors took the chance anyway as part of their ongoing 20th anniversary celebration, airing a video tribute for Vince Carter, who was in town playing for the Grizzlies in his 17th NBA season.

What started, according to the TSN broadcast,as a scattering of boos from some of the nearly 20,000 in attendance at the Air Canada Centre turned into a loud mix of cheers and applause as Carter hugged several Grizzlies coaches while watching a video board overhead.

The video was shown during a break in action in the first quarter of the Raptors' 96-92 win.

Carter slowly pumped a fist into the air while repeatedly nodding and shaking his head in appreciation with a stream of tears lining his cheeks.

"It was a great feeling," Carter said, according to The Associated Press. "I couldn't write it any better."

He mouthed "wow" near the end of the highlights, culled from his six-plus seasons with the Raptors, from his rookie season of 1998-99 to 2004-05, when the eight-time All-Star was traded to the then-New Jersey Nets.

The Raptors (9-2) were among those to stand and clap during the tribute.

Carter, coming off the bench for the Grizzlies, was limited to 3-for-11 shooting in 28 minutes, going 1-for-5 from 3-point range.

He's averaging a career-low 5.8 points through 10 games for the Grizzlies (10-2).

Related Video